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I'm still buzzing from my trip to Chicago to see Stephenie Meyer & Justin Furstenfeld. Let me start off saying that Chicago is a amazingly gorgeous city. I've been to New York and wasn't fond of the rushing, craziness on the sidewalk. Chicago had the same vibe except I was too busy noticing the incredible buildings around me to notice much. We got to our hotel, changed and took off for the Harris theater which was about a mile down Michigan avenue. P.S. if you're a Starbucks fan you'd love it because I kid you not there was one on every corner. I about had a conniption fit when I saw the 4-5 story Borders store. Hello can you say book heaven?

We stopped a block away from the theater to eat at Giordano's.
The stage.
Which was absolutely the most amazing pizza EVER. We cooled off in there for a bit then continued on our way. We got to the theater around 5:35 and the doors opened at 6:00. We finally got to our seat and you could feel the excitement in the air. This was Stephenie's very first tour date after the release of the book. It was history in the making and everyone knew it. I got up with Laurie and Rochelle to go browse the shirts and CDs. I ended up getting a shirt and Laurie bought a Blue October CD. We proceeded to our seats and waited for the show to begin.

A girl from a local radio station introduced Justin Furstenfeld and the show began! He came out and sang 3 songs, then he introduced Stephenie. Here's a transcript of the questions and their answers.

S: First of all, thank you guys so much, you’re totally awesome.
The stage.
Justin is so amazing. And I wanted to say that when I was going through all of the questions that some of you submitted before the show, I had a really hard time cutting them because I have been waiting for a year to answer these questions.

Electra: Question #1 comes from Tori.

Tori wants to know, was the final version of Breaking Dawn how you originally planned it or were there other plot lines you created and this was just the one that made the cut?

S: “I have known the ending of this series since about October, 2003. So it’s actually been a long time coming. The rough draft of Breaking Dawn, which you guys know is Forever Dawn, I was finished around February of 2004 and I really stuck to the original plan because once I got there, it seemed like the only possible ending.
The stage.
So really there weren’t other plotlines that I was choosing from, this was always the way it was meant to happen.



Electra: Now how long have you had Renesme in your mind? Jacqueline _____ says Bella getting pregnant just threw her for a loop.

I loved it, don’t get me wrong, I still had the ‘what?’ (reading from Jacqueline’s question)

S: Um, actually, Nessie was one of the reasons that Breaking Dawn exists. When I first started working with an editor, I had Twilight and I showed them what I was working on for Forever Dawn and they said ‘you know, we’d really like to keep Bella in high school for a little bit longer, develop that more, keep it more YA.’ And I said ‘Ok, there are some interesting stories to do in there.
The stage.
I first started working on it and they said ‘we’d just really just like it to be three books, and end with Eclipse. Can you make an ending that you’re happy with?’ And I said ‘no, I can’t make an ending that I’m happy with.’ This was a very hard fought battle and I was fighting for Nessie the whole time. She was a character that I was not going to allow her to be destroyed. She had to exist. So, she was in my Forever Dawn.

Electra: Will there be more movies to follow the Twilight Saga?

S: I thought I better throw in one movie question aside from ‘what is Robert Pattinson’s phone number’, which I don’t have. That is still undecided. I can say that I’ve had such a good experience working on Twilight that I would be open for it and hope that we can get that going.
The stage.


Electra: Leah wants to know, and I do too, how is it physically possible for a male vampire to get someone pregnant? This question directly responds to being told that vampires can’t have babies.

When you were first asked the question, did you not think that it specifically applied to Bella and Edward’s ability to have children together?

S: There were several questions along this line, as you might imagine. I picked this one specifically because I want you to imagine for the last year, me going online and reading all of these ‘Stephenie said this quote quote…’ that I never said. Um, there was quite a bit of mis-quoting going on and I was always, always very careful about how I answered this question because of course, I knew Renesme was on the way and I didn’t want to spoil that and take away some of the excitement of something new happening so I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but when I did I always focused on female vampires because physiologically speaking, there’s a lot of change that goes on when you’re pregnant with a child that couldn’t happen.
The stage.
So when I answered that question, that was all I ever really commented on. It is physically possible [sic: for males vampires], I don’t want to go into it in too much detail. I think what’s going to happen, it’s a whole long thing. I’m guessing, I think it’s going to have to show up somewhere in like the Twilight Saga guide that’s going to come out later.

Speaking of additional questions, I specifically pulled out two questions to show you what we’re dealing with here. The first question I have, I like the use of quotation marks “Stephenie, in Breaking Dawn I was hoping for more details about their first time. I was wondering why you didn’t “flesh” it out more.” The second question: ‘Why do Bella and Edward become so sex crazed in Breaking Dawn?’ It’s a fine line to walk and I wrote what I was comfortable with and what I wanted to see in the story.
Local radio lady.
Obviously, you can’t please everybody all the time, so I wrote what was good. Yes, obviously so I wrote that and tried to do what I felt like was truest to the story.

Electra: Did James hunt a real Child of the Moon and is that what Victoria thought Seth was?

S: Yes, that’s exactly what happened. James was looking for a challenge and he did track down one of the few remaining Children of the Moon. So that was Victoria’s first instinctual thought, but if you really look at Seth closely, you would realize that was not really what was going on. I had fun putting that hint in Eclipse.

Electra: This one comes from Candice, she came from Kansas City to be here tonight. ‘Why did you choose the name Renesme other than what was listed in the book and will we hear more of her story? PS You’re awesome.
Local radio lady.




S: Thank you. It’s funny because I have seen some reactions to the name Renesme and people are like ‘what is that?’ And it’s funny, I’ve been thinking the name for so long, it seems completely normal to me. But when I chose it, I really wanted something that no one else had. Because there’s no one else like Nessie and I wanted her to have something very deep and original. Note: lots of ‘awwws’ here.

Electra: Who was Embry’s dad?

S: That question was in there like 17 times. Now I know that a lot of people are mad when I say that I’m not going to say, because you know what? I’m not even sure that I know. I know that sounds crazy, but really there are secrets that my characters keep from even me. And I had that experience with Rosalie actually when I first started working on Twilight.
Justin Furstenfeld.
I had no idea she didn’t like Bella and her character was really flat and sort of half way through I figured out ‘Oh, she hates Bella!’ and then she was easier to write. So sometimes my characters don’t tell me everything. I have my suspicions.

E: Joanna from California, she gets two questions.

One: Why did Bella keep her baby when she knew she was dying?

S: That was just real serious and had a different tone from the others (referring to the question) and the only thing I can answer to that I have three children and I know what I felt like with each one of those children and if someone had told me ‘if you carry this child to term, you will die’, I would have done it anyway. That’s how I am. My experience as a mother is reflected in that part of the story.
Justin Furstenfeld.


E: Joanna, second question ‘Will Jacob ever rejoin the pack?’

S: I loved that she had two very different questions and the Jacob one’s an interesting one. Actually, no, because once you’re an alpha, there’s no going back from that.

So now we have (fades here)

E: Liz from Milwaukee would like to know ‘Will Jacob stay immortal with Renesme when she reaches maturity?’

S: I do believe there’s some concern about that and the lovely thing about their relationship is that Nessie apparently will not age past you know, like around 18, 20. And Jacob, as long as he keeps turning into a werewolf regularly, will always be the same as well so they’re good to go.

E: (some name here, too much screaming) She wants to know what’s the meaning of the cover?

S: Yay for ? That’s a really good question.
Justin Furstenfeld.
So this cover has kind of two things going on. One is a metaphor for the entire series because you have Bella going from being the weakest player on the board to being the most powerful one. So that’s the main meaning, that’s what I wanted to have on there. Then I also the feeling of a chess game because I knew that the end of the story was not going to be a great big huge battle scene. This was a court scene. This was maneuvering and having your plans and I thought that was really suited to chess so that was another reason I like that metaphor.

E: Liz Waters says ‘at Comic Con, you mentioned that your favorite Edward and Bella moment was book four and for obvious reasons, at that point, you couldn’t share what it was.

So now, can you please fill us in?’

S: I should think probably most of you could guess what scene it is.
Justin Furstenfeld.
And you’re wrong! (laughing) It’s the last two pages of the book. That was it, when Edward really sees how Bella feels about him, there’s just no match for that.

(lots of screaming!)

E: Brandy….

wants to know ‘Why was the date on Alice’s tombstone the same date that she was admitted to the asylum?’

S: That’s actually a really really long story, so I wouldn’t have pulled it because I don’t have time to get into it, it takes me several pages of writing to get through it. But, as I wanted to mention that there are things like that question will be answered in the Twilight Guide and other backstories.

E: Why was Bella able to skip the newborn vampire stage?

S: If you think about all the other vampires that have been created, you have the Cullens.
Justin Furstenfeld.
None of them had a lot of time to think about this or were even asked, they were on their death beds and they awakened a vampire with no preparation at all. Then you have vampires like the Volturi, who become vampires and immediately expect to prey on humans because that’s what vampires do. Bella’s kind of unique in that she had a couple of years to think about what she wanted to be and she was going to do that. So she had way more preparation than anybody. And she was already a stubborn girl.

E: This is a very important question from Cassie ‘What color is Bella’s ____?’ (from a attendee up front this was clarified to be her car, the Ferrari)

S: Isn’t this a little obvious, because….isn't every Ferrari this color? RED!


E: Jordan….
The local radio gal and Stephenie Meyer.


’Was there any significance to Alice’s use of the Merchant of Venice? PS: You’re gorgeous’

S: That’s not fair because she wrote the card before she saw me tonight so she didn’t know. There actually was significance to using The Merchant of Venice. When I decided to use A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it was because I knew that the love triangle that was so painful for everyone involved was going to be flipped around so that everyone was happy. With The Merchant of Venice, that was a little hint again about the end of the story, that we were going to have a confrontation that was solved by wit and planning, so that was kind of a clue for the end of the story.

E: Jenny had this question: ‘Bella was so relatable to girls in the first three books (faded here) in the fourth book, she seems different.
The local radio gal and Stephenie Meyer.


How do you expect your teen readers to relate?’

S: This is one of the reasons why the Twilight Saga is four books long. I found also that when Bella became a vampire, her relatability was kind of lost. I enjoyed very much writing about her experiences because it was something really fabulous to imagine, but all along, at any point, I could have stepped in and been Bella, because you know she was just this clumsy human girl and I could do what she could do. But then when she was a vampire, all of the sudden she was this amazing creature with all of these powers and I couldn’t do that anymore. So I did feel like the book was going to have to end from her point of view after we got to that point. And I did want to do a very thorough job of settling her and letting you see what that was like but at the same time I knew she wasn’t going to be that teenager that we could all relate to anymore.
The local radio gal and Stephenie Meyer.


E: What are your intentions for the future of the Cullen clan?

S: Ok, I wrote that one. I did that because there were a gazillion ‘are you going to write about Alice and Jasper?’ ‘Are you going to write all of the books from Edward’s perspective?’ Right now, obviously, Midnight Sun has to happen. (lots of screaming) I’m glad that makes you happy. After that, I actually have a lot of other thing I’d like to work on. My whole life is not vampires, surprisingly enough and I kind of want to get back to my ghosts and my time travel and my mermaids, there’s a lot I want to do. And the Host, yes, (lots of cheers) I’ve got a lot of outlining going on with that so while I am not planning on doing anything right now, I may get back to the Cullens.
The local radio gal and Stephenie Meyer.
There are several storylines that I find really interesting. I don’t think I can spend a ton of time on characters that I feel like I’ve had a chance to really explore already. I would have to say, the most likely narrators going forward in the future are Nessie and Leah.

Stephenie then brought Justin back out and discussed how certain songs helped her write certain parts of the book. The first song was Hate Me and how it inspired the scene in New Moon where Edward leaves Bella for her own good and how he wanted her to hate him so she could move on. Knowing that, then hearing the music was AMAZING. I cried because you could just feel every emotion Edward was feeling at the moment in the book. The next song she talked about was Overweight and how it was a Jacob song.
Breaking Dawn Concert Series with Stephenie Meyer & Justin Furstenfeld in Chicago.
How you got a sense of how someone was there for you although they knew someone was better for you.

My absolute favorite one was My Never and that page 355 in Breaking Dawn was what she thought of when she heard this song. Here's two videos, the explanation of My Never starts around 3:25 on the first video and carries over to the second video.

After hearing Stephenie explain the book it made more sense than it did before. There were definitely a lot of ah ha moments, even though I liked the book before she explained. As they were having people line up to get their book signed some lady with the publishing company decided to let people show everyone their shirts they made. This boy sitting by us had one that said, "I went gay for Edward Cullen" and apparently everyone thought it was the best thing they'd ever seen and had to have their picture taken with him.
Breaking Dawn Concert Series with Stephenie Meyer & Justin Furstenfeld in Chicago.
Which I thought was kinda funny, it's a shirt girls calm down. Any who, here's my pictures of Stephenie and Justin from Tuesday night.

We were one of the last people to get our book signed and she was as sweet as ever. What really surprised me is that she had four bodyguards around her. I don't know if the venue provided them or what happened but she didn't have any with her in May in Kansas City. They were menacing too, the one to her left we immediately named Demetri ;) We almost asked for his autograph but he was too scary. We scampered off, walked a mile to the hotel, snapping pictures along the way and had a blast yammering about all that happened. It was definitely a night to remember.

Ciao!!
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